NASCAR plans switch to unleaded racing fuel

Mechanics, crews, and NASCAR dads will be able to wheeze a little easier beginning in 2008 — that’s when the racing body plans to switch its cars and trucks from leaded to unleaded fuel. Though it’s exempt from the Clean Air Act’s unleaded requirement, NASCAR’s nonetheless been looking for a high-performance alternative that lubricates the engine while getting the lead out. It says its new fuel does it without using MTBE, the health-hazardous fuel additive barred by some states. Clean Air Watch has been after NASCAR to clean up its exhaust; just this week, the group petitioned the U.S. EPA to monitor air quality for lead levels at NASCAR races. “2007 would be better, but 2008 is within inhaling distance,” said CAW’s Frank O’Donnell. Better yet: biofuels!